Life Styles: Making Dreams Come True

FAYETTEVILLE, AR-- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a nationwide increase in children who have Autism. In Northwest Arkansas, one in 65 children has the disorder. One Fayetteville non-profit organization is raising awareness and supporting adults with Autism, in an effort to help them chase their dreams.

Justin West has been a client at Life Styles in Fayetteville for almost two years. West said, "It's very interesting."

For Justin and others with Autism, it can be life-changing. Development and communications coordinator, Jessie Terry, said that is the main goal.

Terry said, "We are all about independence. We work with individuals with developmental disabilities. We use education, employment, and independent living to create a well-rounded individual and get them to be a part of the Northwest Arkansas community. Everyone has a dream and we want to help everyone reach that dream."

Justin's dream is to find a successful career. Through a three-year launch program partnership with Life Styles and the University of Arkansas, that dream will soon become reality.

Terry said, "We usually take eight to ten students as freshmen and they spend part of their day on campus. They also work with mentors at the University of Arkansas."

Justin said, "I'm hoping to work at Walmart. I'm getting ready to hold down a steady job in the future."

Jessie Terry said it all comes down to one word. "Pride... Being able to say they are a University of Arkansas student. Disability will not hold them back."

For Justin West, that pride equals Razorback red. West said, "I just feel like... go Hogs!"

To find out more about the Life Styles Launch Program, click here.

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